Peewees and Bantams start youth hockey season at home

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Youth hockey hits full swing this weekend as Howelsen Ice Arena hosts its first youth tournament of the season - the eighth annual Rocky Mountain Rumble.

"It will be a great showcase to play that many games at home and for the kids to get their legs back under them after a long summer," tournament director Amy Hill said.

Play begins Friday afternoon in the Bantam B and Peewee B age and skill divisions. Action on the ice will feature teams from across Colorado and as far as Provo, Utah.

The four Peewee B teams - ages 11 and 12 - will then compete all day Saturday and finish Sunday morning with an 11:15 a.m. championship game. The seven Bantam B teams - ages 13 and 14 - will do the same, with their division championship scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday.

The Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association will field both a Peewee B and a Bantam B team.

While the SSYHA Bantam Bs started their season by splitting games with the Northern Colorado Youth Hockey Junior Eagles, who will be participating in the Rocky Mountain Rumble, Steamboat's Peewee B's will try to make a run after a pair of tough ties against Laramie.

"Those were two exciting games," SSYHA director Erik Blase said of the Peewee B's final game, in which Steamboat came from behind to tie with two goals in the final six minutes.

The Oak Creek Hockey Association also will field a Bantam B squad in the tournament. The team will combine players from Kremmling, Oak Creek and Craig. Coach Pete Hange said the team has more kids from Kremmling this year and will use the Grand County town for the team's name.

"The whole team hasn't all been on the ice together yet," Hange said of Kremmling's first game of the year, against Steamboat's Bantam Bs to kick off tournament play at 3 p.m. Friday. "It will be interesting, but it will be fun to play so close in Steamboat."

Admission to the games is free, but the SSYHA will be raising funds throughout the weekend with concessions and a silent auction.

- To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253 or e-mail dshively@steamboatpilot.com

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